Connect with us

Democrat Roy Cooper Declares Victory as Voters Dump GOP Gov. Pat McCrory – Race Too Close to Call

Published

on

Anti-LGBT Law HB2 Reportedly Cost State Billions

North Carolina first-term Republican Governor Pat McCrory appears to have lost his re-election bid over his anti-LGBT law HB2. Roy Cooper, the state’s Democratic attorney general who refused to defend HB2 in court, has declared victory, but the election has not been certified. Less than 4000 votes separate them.

Cooper is up about 4000 votes over McCrory. Recent polls were not in McCrory’s favor. 

The gubernatorial race in the Tar Heel State has been one of the most hotly contested of the election cycle, and it could be one with far-reaching impact.

Cooper and McCrory have sparred over several issues for the past few months, with Cooper slamming McCrory’s record on healthcare, economic issues, the environment, and of course, HB2.

HB2 voided LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances throughout the state. It attacks transgender citizens by revoking their right to use public restrooms based on gender identity. It also mandates that only state lawmakers can pass laws regulating employment discrimination, the use of public accommodations, and minimum wages – removing the right of self determination from every town and city across the state.

HB2

The full economic impact of HB2 is not yet known, but an estimate from the Williams Institute expects the state to lose almost $5 billion a year as long as HB2 is in effect. This does not include court costs for the legal battle surrounding the anti-LGBT bill which made international headlines.

As the state’s attorney general, it would generally be assumed it would be his job to defend the state’s actions when they are taken to court. But Cooper chose not to defend HB2, leaving McCrory to defend the law himself and seek outside legal help. This gives the state responsibility for paying lawyers instead of allowing Cooper to take their side in the suit.

McCrory didn’t take kindly to Cooper’s decision, and has continued to defend HB2 despite its growing unpopularity in the state. While neither campaign site even mentions the issue, it’s a deciding factor in the race.

A Public Policy report from May shows just 35% of the state in favor of the law.

NC Republicans are embarrassed by HB2, so much so that they tried to interfere when the Charlotte Observer hosted a forum about the issue which featured neither gubernatorial candidate. A letter to the NC Board of Elections the week of the forum called the discussion a campaign event, in spite of the forum featuring both people in favor of and people opposed to HB2.

Healthcare

North Carolina is one of 19 states that has not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Cooper not only slams the state on his website, he points to his past involvement in health care policy, including a lawsuit filed against Carolinas Healthcare System, the largest network in the state, for putting contract requirements in place to limit competition with other healthcare systems and push costs higher.

McCrory, on the other hand, privatized the state’s Medicaid system last year, contracting three companies to offer plans for people on Medicaid and allowing for 10 networks to work through regional plans. This handed a significant part of the state’s healthcare system to the free market.

Cooper’s position puts him at an advantage with issue voters, as Public Policy Polling showed that 72% of voters would back an expansion of Medicaid to cover the gap between the current program and the ACA.

Economy

One of McCory’s proudest talking points was that his economic plans have been good for the state. He has pointed to the state’s growing GDP and population as a sign that his economics have worked. Politifact rated his claim true, using only GDP as an economic indicator in April of 2016, before the economic impact of HB2 was entirely obvious.

However, according to NC Policy Watch, the GDP is not the only thing that matters. The labor market has not improved under McCrory and the state’s average weekly pay is about $80 less than the national average.

Cooper is against lowering only corporate taxes, and wants to focus on increasing income for people in the workforce. His campaign website says that under McCrory’s direction the state is “the butt of jokes for late night comedy” and calls this “self-sabotage.” 

Environment

Roy Cooper’s campaign focused heavily on environmental issues, touting his support for the Clean Smokestacks Act, which requires companies to cut down on emissions.

Meanwhile, McCrory attempted to create jobs by cutting back environmental regulations with HB74.

A defining difference between the two politicians came after a Duke Energy pipe malfunctioned, spilling thousands of tons of coal ash into the Dan River. McCrory attacked Cooper for fighting cleanup efforts, but there was no evidence of Cooper actually doing so. Cooper fired back by pointing out that a leading state scientist had already accused McCrory of lying to the public about the Duke Energy spill.

McCrory worked for Duke Energy for 29 years prior to his political career.

Voting Rights

Cooper’s campaign website highlights his plan to make voting more accessible to everyone. He opposes voter ID laws and wants to reinstate same-day registration.

McCrory has ink on his face after his administration’s voter ID laws were found by a court to be racially discriminatory. The Supreme Court split 4-4 on the issue, which let stand the lower court’s ruling and stopped the practice of requiring the type of ID that was needed from NC voters.  

These issues led to an apparent Cooper victory. Polls in the race have been tight for months, but Cooper had been the favorite for the last month of the race.

 

Images:
Pat McCrory via Wikimedia
Roy Cooper via Facebook

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

COMMENTARY

Trump An ‘Enemy of the Constitution’ Declares Nicolle Wallace, Blasting Call to ‘Terminate’ Nation’s Founding Document

Published

on

MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace slammed Donald Trump as an “enemy of the Constitution” on Monday after the ex-president, over the weekend, called for the U.S. Constitution to be terminated.

Trump demanded “the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” in light of his most recent – and false – claim the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

That was Saturday, on his Truth Social account.

On Monday, Trump denied having ever said it, despite the post still being up.

Wallace characterized Trump’s call to terminate the Constitution “an extraordinary statement even by the standards of a failed wannabe autocrat who plotted a coup against his own government and recently dined with white supremacists.”

READ MORE: ‘Venom’: Experts Shocked as Gorsuch Angrily Accuses Colorado of Forcing Anti-LGBTQ Baker Into ‘Re-Education Program’

“The disgraced ex-president made his contempt for our democracy as clear as ever, when he called for the United States Constitution to be ‘terminated.'”

Quoting The Washington Post, Wallace said: “Trump’s message on his Truth Social platform reiterated the baseless claims he has made since 2020, that the election was stolen, but he went further by suggesting that the country abandon one of its founding documents.”

She also played a clip of Republican Congressman Dave Joyce of Ohio from Sunday’s ABC News.

Rep. Joyce in the clip twists and turns but ultimately admits that if Trump is the GOP nominee for president in 2024 he will vote for him.

READ MORE: Anti-LGBTQ Slurs on Twitter Up Over 800% as Musk Allows Thousands of Previously Banned Users Back: Reports

“Well, again, it’s early I think there’s gonna be a lot of people in the primary I think at the end of the day, you will have — wherever the Republicans tend to pick up I will fall in behind because that’s –”

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos interjected, asking,”Even if it’s Donald Trump, as he’s called for suspending the Constitution?”

“Again, I think it’s gonna be a big field. I don’t think Donald Trump’s gonna clear out the field like he did in 2016.”

“I will support whoever the Republican nominee is,” Joyce added.

“And I don’t don’t think that at this point he will be able to get there because I think there’s a lot of other good quality candidates out there.”

“He says a lot of things,” Joyce continued, refusing to denounce Trump.

“Let’s not speed past that moment,” Wallace urged. “This is exactly how Trump happened. All the Republicans in Washington and around the country said, [Trump] ‘says all sorts of stupid you know what. Dorsn’t mean he’s going to do it.'”

“He did all of it, all of it. And then some,” she chastised.

Watch below or at this link.

Continue Reading

'REGURGITATING RIGHT WING TALKING POINTS'

‘Venom’: Experts Shocked as Gorsuch Angrily Accuses Colorado of Forcing Anti-LGBTQ Baker Into ‘Re-Education Program’

Published

on

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch appeared angry and even hostile at several points throughout Monday’s oral arguments in a case brought by a Colorado right-wing evangelical Christian website designer who is suing the state because she wants to be able to discriminate against same-sex couples who are getting married.

The case, 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, promises to be one of the most important of the term, and arguments extended more than two hours.

During one of the more heated moments, conservative Justice Gorsuch attacked Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson, claiming the state forced an infamous anti-LGBTQ baker who also went before the Supreme Court, winning his 2018 case in a very narrow ruling, into a “re-education program.”

RELATED: ‘What the Hell, Sam’: Justice Alito Slammed for Making ‘Joke’ About Black Children in KKK Costumes

Jack Phillips, a business owner who refused to bake cakes for same-sex weddings, citing his religious beliefs, was required to attend a class so he could become familiar with Colorado anti-discrimination law.

The Supreme Court’s ruling at the time called it, “additional remedial measures, including ‘comprehensive staff training on the Public Accommodations section'” of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.

Justice Gorsuch instead called it a “re-education program,” and slammed the state’s Solicitor General, Eric Olson, with it on Monday.

“Mr. Phillips did go through a re-education training program, pursuant to Colorado law, did he not, Mr. Olson?” Gorsuch asked the solicitor general.

“He went through a process that ensured he was familiar –” Olson responded, before Gorsuch cut him off.

“It was a re-education program, right?” the justice blared.

“It was not a ‘re-education program,'” Olson replied, holding his ground.

“What do you call it?” Gorsuch, dissatisfied, pressed.

“It was a process to make sure he was familiar with Colorado law,” Olson explained.

“Some might be excused for calling that a ‘re-education program,’” Gorsuch snapped.

“I strongly disagree, Justice Gorsuch,” Olson said, defending the law.

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, who provided the clip above, warns: “It does not bode well for the future of civil rights law that Gorsuch believes a state imposes ‘reeducation training’ on employers when it reminds them how to comply with nondiscrimination rules.”

RELATED: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Supreme Court Ruling in the Gay Wedding Cake Case

“Astounding that Gorsuch, A Supreme Court Justice,” tweeted Adam Cohen of Attorneys for Good Government, “Refers to Colorado giving courses on following civil rights law, As ‘reeducation training.'”

“Like being taught not to discriminate against LGBTQ is the same as being sent to a gulag for protesting communism in the Soviet Union,” he added.

Professor Elizabeth Sepper of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law says, “Justice Gorsuch describes education about antidiscrimination law and compliance as a REEDUCATION PROGRAM. This is beyond offensive. It was a central and SOFT tool of many civil rights movements and was essential to targeting market discrimination.”

Columbia Law School’s Elizabeth Reiner Platt, the Director of The Law, Rights, and Religion Project responded, “OMG Gorsuch repeatedly insists that a training on civil rights law is a ‘reeducation program.’ Good grief.”

Attorney Andrew L. Seidel, Vice President of Strategic Communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State tweeted, “WHOA. Gorsuch asks a very hostile question about sending the bakery to ‘a re-education program.’ He spits the phrase with venom and repeats it several times. He’s regurgitating right wing talking points.”

Continue Reading

'INAPPROPRIATE'

‘What the Hell, Sam’: Justice Alito Slammed for Making ‘Joke’ About Black Children in KKK Costumes

Published

on

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in one of the most important cases of the term, a case that will determine if the nation’s highest court will or will not allow a person citing their personal religious beliefs to openly discriminate in the marketplace against same-sex couples.

In likely the most salient and important hypothetical example, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson described in great detail a photographer wanting to re-create scenes from 1940’s Christmases with Santa Clauses and children, in sepia tones, and making them historically accurate.

She asked the attorney representing the right-wing Christian website designer who does not want to have to provide her product to same-sex couples, if under her legal theory the hypothetical photographer would have to create photos of a white Santa with Black children.

Kristen Waggoner, the Alliance Defending Freedom‘s attorney arguing in favor of anti-LGBTQ discrimination, was forced to admit that the photographer would be able to say they would not take photos of Black children with a white Santa.

RELATED: Listen Live: SCOTUS Hears Christian Right Religion vs. LGBTQ Civil Rights Challenge

Later, Justice Samuel Alito, one of the Court’s most far-right jurists, decided to use Justice Jackson’s hypothetical analogy to make a point, and he did so by mockingly joking about Black children wearing KKK costumes.

“Justice Jackson’s example of that, the Santa in the mall who doesn’t want his picture taken with Black children,” Justice Alito began, getting the basics of the analogy incorrect.

“So if there’s a Black Santa at the other end of the mall, and he doesn’t want to have his picture taken with a child who is dressed up in a Ku Klux Klan outfit, now does that Black Santa have to do that?”

Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson replied, “No, because Klu Klux Klan outfits are not protected characteristics under public accommodation laws.”

READ MORE: ‘Anathema to the Soul of Our Nation’: Trump Pilloried for Demanding ‘Termination’ of the US Constitution

“And presumably,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor interjected, “that would be the same Ku Klux Klan outfit regardless whether if the child was Black or white or any other characteristic.”

That’s when Alito decided to make a “joke,” while thousands of Americans were listening to the Court’s live proceedings.

“You do see a lot of Black children in Ku Klux Klan outfits all the time,” he said, presumably sarcastically.

He then laughed, and some viewers in the gallery joined with him.

Many on social media were outraged and offended.

“He is so inappropriate today. And offensive,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, the former President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). “The Black kids in KuKluxKlan outfits? Not funny. Is this the highest Court of the most powerful country in the world? Good grief.”

Minutes later, NYU School of Law Professor of Law Melissa Murray weighed in, saying, “I’m going to need Justice Alito to stop joking about seeing ‘Black children in Ku Klux Klan costumes.'”

“Seriously, what am I listening to?” she asked, to which Ifill replied, “Just awful.”

“The joke about Black kids in KuKluxKlan outfits?” Ifill also lamented. “No Justice Alito, these ‘jokes’ are so inappropriate, no matter how many in the courtroom chuckle mindlessly.”

Columbia University Professor of Law Katherine Franke tweeted, “Justice Alito is resorting to KKK jokes. Ha ha ha. As if what’s at stake here is funny, and isn’t taking place in a context in which LGBTQ people feel like we have a target on our backs. And, ahem – Klan jokes aren’t funny under any context.”

The Rewire News Group tweeted, in all caps, “I knew Alito wouldn’t be able to resist bringing up the Ku Klux Klan,” and then: “What the hell, Sam.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.